Arizona handyman license: Everything you need to know

Arizona is experiencing a lot of growth, translating into construction jobs. As a result, people want a handyman to help with general repairs and basic renovations. Start a new career or business with an Arizona handyman license. Read this guide to learn about the licensing requirements and your next steps.

Do you need a license in Arizona to become a handyman?

No, you don’t need an Arizona handyman license if you’re performing minor work that’s valued less than $1,000. Minor work includes repairs and small alterations that don’t require building permits. Unlicensed handyman in Arizona can do work, such as putting up drywall, assembling furniture, fixing windows, installing doors, and replacing fixtures. A handyman is typically paid around $25 an hour in Arizona.

If you plan on working on projects worth more than $1,000 or that require a building permit, you will have to obtain a state license as a contractor. This work would include expansions, major renovations, moving a structure, and, of course, building something from scratch. If you do anything to change the occupancy of a building, you would need a permit and a contractor’s license. Contractors earn around $30 – $40 an hour.

There are both general and specialty licenses available. General contractors, whether commercial or residential, can work on a wide range of projects. Specialty contractors have a more specific focus. For example, a specialty commercial contractor would concentrate only on boilers and steamfitting, carpentry, concrete, elevators, or roofing. A specialty residential contractor may focus solely on floor coverings, electrical, or masonry. Dual licenses give you the option to work on both commercial and residential properties.

How much does it cost to get a handyman license in Arizona?

Fees depend on the type of contractor license you get. General commercial license fees are $580 and specialty commercial license fees are $480.

General residential license fees are $320, and specialty residential license fees are $270.

General dual license fees are $200, and specialty dual license fees are $100.

The initial application fee ranges from $80 for a specialty residential license to $200 for a general commercial license.

How to get a handyman license in Arizona

To obtain a contractor’s license through the Arizona Registrar of Contractors, you’ll have to pass a background check, pass an examination, form a legal entity, obtain and submit proof of a license bond, and pay any requisite fees. You’ll also need years of field experience.

You’ll need a minimum four years of experience for a contractor’s license. Exceptions include seal coating, swimming pool service, acoustical systems, drywall, fencing, insulation, sheet metal, welding, and plastering. They have requirements of either one, two, or three years of experience. You can get this experience by working as an assistant for a licensed contractor.

Anyone applying to be a contractor must take the Business Management Exam. General engineering and general commercial contractors also must take a trade exam. Anyone working in the solar field also must pass a solar exam. The passing score is 70% or above.

The state administers the exams via PSI. Exams are given in multiple locations on various dates, and registration is accepted online, by phone, through fax, and via standard mail.

Some materials are allowed while taking an exam, such as the Code of Federal Regulations and the NASCLA Contractors Guide to Business, Law, and Project Management in Arizona. You are responsible for bringing in your own reference guides.

How to use your handyman license to get a job

Whether you have a contractor license or are working as an unlicensed handyman, you’ll want to decide whether to work for a business or on your own. There are advantages to both.

If you’re going to be independent, focus on marketing yourself professionally and developing a pricing structure. Then, you can advertise in print materials, on social media, and through family and friends to get the word out about your services.

If you want to find an open position under an employer, do an online job search and reach out to your contacts to see if they’re aware of any positions. Expect interviews to go over your work history, training, skills, and general approach to problems.

With new renovations focused on open layouts, eco-friendly materials, and incorporating smart technology, there is a lot of demand for the handyman. Whether you’re a neighborhood specialist without an official Arizona handyman license or a licensed contractor who has experience with major contracts, you’ll want to keep your customers satisfied. Visiting trade shows, connecting with professional associations, and reading about new products can help you better position your business.

Is my Handyman license only valid in Arizona?

Yes, your Arizona handyman license is only valid within the state.

How often do I need to renew my handyman license in Arizona?

Arizona handyman licenses, or contractor licenses, are valid for two years. Here are the renewal fees for each license:

  • General commercial licenses – $580
  • Specialty commercial licenses – $480
  • General residential licenses – $320
  • Specialty residential licenses – $270
  • General dual licenses – $480
  • Specialty dual licenses – $380